BATON ROUGE, LA – Attorney General Jeff Landry today announced a $19.5 million settlement with 42 other Attorneys General in a case against Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).
BMS allegedly promoted the atypical antipsychotic drug Abilify for elderly patients dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The drug was promoted despite the lack of safety approval by the FDA. In 2006, Abilify received a warning that elderly patients who were treated with antipsychotic for dementia related illnesses had an increased risk of death. Additionally, BMS allegedly minimized risks brought on by the drug – causing people to not properly understand the risks related to the drug.
“Businesses that withhold pertinent information in order to sell a product do a great disservice to their consumers,” said General Landry. “Deceiving the people of Louisiana, especially the elderly, is atrocious; and my office is committed to bringing scammers engaging in this type of criminal activity to justice.”
By the terms of the settlement, BMS will be restricted from marketing of any formulation containing the active ingredient aripiprazole. They will also be prohibited from making false or misleading claims about Abilify, its safety or efficacy in comparison with other drugs, and the implications of clinical studies relating to the drug. Additionally, BMS will be subject to limitations on financial incentives to sales representatives and health care providers, dissemination of information that may promote off-label use of Abilify, and other practices affecting off-label promotion.
General Landry’s settlement with BMS will bring a $342,028 payment to Louisiana.